The Last Summer

The Last Summer

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Click here to read an excerpt on the Pan Macmillan Website

Review by Karen (Retired Booksellers);

The setting in this novel is enthralling St Kilda, an island in the outer Hebribes off Scotland.  Though the main character, 18 year old tom boy Effie Gillies, we learn so much of the life of the Islanders and numerous birdlife on the exposed, steep, barren, windswept and cold land.  In 1930 the Islanders abanded St Kilda for the mainland changing their lives.

This novel, the first in the series, has it all location, survival, fasinating characters, clash of social classes, romance & murder.  Loved this novel & can't wait for the next novel.

An epic, sweeping historical novel from Sunday Times bestseller Karen Swan, The Last Summer is set on the Scottish island of St Kilda and is the first in a new series.

When the residents of St Kilda ask to be evacuated from their remote island home in the summer of 1930, it's in search of a better life on mainland Scotland compared to the scratch existence on their mountain in the sea. For eighteen-year-old tomboy Effie Gillies, it's a bittersweet departure. She's the best young climber on the island, as skilled and brave as any of the men. But it is Effie's expansive knowledge of local bird life that leads her to take up a position as curator of Dumfries House's ornithological collection - and back into the arms of Lord Dumfries' son and heir, Sholto. During her last summer on St Kilda, Effie had been Sholto's guide, and their attraction had seemed irresistible. But, in the glamorous polite society of Ayrshire, it is clear they are worlds apart. When a body is discovered on the island, soon after the evacuation, a scandal erupts as Effie is implicated. Sholto knows she's keeping secrets - but are they even her own?

Romance, Historical fiction, Narrative theme: Sense of place


Karen Swan

496 pages

H: 233mm W: 153mm Spine: 41mm

Weight: 614 grams